The discipline of the "disciplined party" vanished when the district and city presidents of the BJP got into a verbal confrontation in front of hundreds of people on Monday at Tehsil Complex here.
Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) district president Suresh Bhatia even accused Batala BJP president Krishan Baldev Suri of manhandling him and threatened to report it to the state party leadership. The argument happened before hundreds of Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) workers, who led by their senior leader JN Sharma, were into a demonstration against the Uttar Pradesh government over its not allowing the VHP to perform Chaurasi Kosi Yatra in Ayodhya.
Later, when the workers were coming out of the tehsil complex after submitting memorandum to the subdivisional magistrate (SDM), district BJP president Suresh Bhatia turned up at the spot, angry that Suri had not waited for him, and so arose an argument. Suri tried to convince him by saying that it was a VHP demonstration and he had been part of it upon instruction from the party high command. Eyewitnesses said at this, Bhatia had started yelling at him.
Felling insulted in public, Suri also retaliated with some harsh words, and within no time, both were abusing each other in public. Suri confirmed that Bhatia was annoyed that the demonstrators had not waited for him and said Bhatia and his supporters had also misbehaved with him. "He even threatened me," he added.
Refuting the allegations, Bhatia said it was Suri and his supporters who had used derogatory language and tried to manhandle him in public. "I will report to the state BJP leadership and seek appropriate action against Suri," he said. It's the third incident in the month in which factionalism in the district BJP has come to the fore.
On August 8, former BJP vice-president Vijay Mahajan had accused district party president Suresh Bhatia of neglecting senior workers in appointing members of the Fatehgarh Churrian unit. On August 14, former BJP district general secretary Surinder Bhagat had accused Bhatia of insulting him during the district working committee meeting by telling him to leave.